What is more relaxing than reading in bed?
Likewise watching Netflix or television from bed is many a person's way to wind down. But it's no secret that relaxing in bed can cause its fair share of trauma to the spine. While we would never sit here and deny you the pleasure of recreating in bed, it is prudent to set your spine up so that it incurs the least possible damage. For the purpose of this blog, we will use reading in bed as the model activity, but the same principles can be applied to using a laptop or cell phone in bed.
Ergonomic relaxation: reading in bed edition
The goal is to keep your spine in alignment and reduce pressure that comes with your spine being compressed by poor posture. We can achieve this by using pillows or other props to support the legs, back and neck.
- Start with a pillow under the knees to lift the legs, maintain spinal alignment and improve circulation
- Then place a thin pillow over the legs where you can rest your arms and keep the book at eye level without taxing your arm muscles
- Place a pillow under the lumbar region and then another on top for the upper back.
- If you need neck support, utilize one further pillow to keep your neck positioned in a straight line with the rest of the spine.
In this way, you shouldn't have to crane your neck to read, as the book will be at eye level and the normal curvature of your back will be supported. If you don't have that many pillows to spare, get creative! Getting as close to neutral posture as possible is essential for minimizing the toll that is taken on your spine while you relax and read away. For more creative ways on improving your spinal health and dealing with back pain, give our office in Houston a call to schedule an appointment today.